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Best Welder for Aluminum (MIG/TIG)

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Miller AlumaPowerâ„¢ 350 MPa MIGRunnerâ„¢ Package 951556 Miller AlumaPowerâ„¢ 350 MPa MIGRunnerâ„¢ Package 951556
Miller AlumaPower™ 350 MPa MIGRunner™ Package 951556
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Continuumâ„¢ 500 MIGRunner Pkg Continuumâ„¢ 500 MIGRunner Pkg
Miller Continuum™ 500 MIGRunner Pkg 951672
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ESAB ET 220i AC/DC HF W1009300
ESAB ET 220i AC/DC HF W1009300
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Trailblazer 325 Diesel #907566001
Trailblazer 325 Diesel #907566001
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Trailblazer 325 Diesel, Excel Power #907566002
Trailblazer 325 Diesel, Excel Power #907566002
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Miller Big Blue® 400 PipePro® (Mitsubishi) #907703001
Miller Big Blue® 400 PipePro® (Mitsubishi) #907703001
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Miller Big Blue® 400 PipePro® (Mitsubishi) w/ Stainless Steel #907703
Miller Big Blue® 400 PipePro® (Mitsubishi) w/ Stainless Steel #907703
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Best Welder For Aluminum

In its pure form, aluminum is a relatively soft metal with good ductility and high resistance to corrosion. Alloys are typically added to give it more structural rigidity, so most aluminum welding is done on aluminum alloys. Even with the added strength alloys give aluminum, the high thermal conductivity and a low melting point of aluminum alloys make it prone to distortion and burn-through during welding. Although aluminum can be joined by brazing and soldering, these have very limited applications. For welding aluminum, the most commonly used machines are MIG and TIG welders.

What type of welding machine do you need to weld aluminum?

Your best options boil down to MIG or TIG welders. Here’s a quick look at each:

TIG Welders for Aluminum

TIG welding is the preferred process for working with aluminum—especially thin aluminum. The high thermal conductivity and a low melting point of aluminum can lead to warping and burn-through if heat input isn’t carefully controlled. TIG welding aluminum is ideally suited for this. The welds they produce are not only strong, they also look great. It takes practice to get the consistent “stacked dimes” look on your welds, but with the right waveform setting, the right consumables, and good control of heat input it can be done. Having the right equipment is the first step, and Welders Supply can help with that.

Check out our welders, including:

 

Benefits of TIG welders for aluminum

  •         Strong, durable welds
  •         Provide optimal control of heat input
  •         Best looking weld beads of any welding process

 

Shop all TIG welders at Welders Supply

TIG Welding Aluminum (Best Welder for sale)

MIG welders for aluminum

There are many machines capable of MIG welding aluminum, and most also weld mild and stainless steel. However, welding aluminum with a MIG welder is trickier than welding steel because it requires more heat, and aluminum (especially thin gauge aluminum) is particularly susceptible to warpage and burn-through. For anything thinner than 14 gauge aluminum, you need a TIG welder. Even with thicker gauge aluminum, you need to move the gun quickly and develop a feel for when the weld puddle is getting too hot. MIG welders will work fine on heavy gauge aluminum, but for precision work on thinner aluminum, a TIG welder is recommended.

Benefits of MIG welders for aluminum

  •         MIG welding is about the easiest welding process to learn
  •         Works well for thicker gauge aluminum (16 gauge and up)
  •         Can weld faster with MIG process than with TIG
  •         Generally less expensive than TIG machines

 

Shop all MIG welders at Welders Supply

 

What About Stick Welders for Aluminum?

Yes, a stick welder can be used to weld aluminum, but even when used for welding thicker gauge aluminum it is a poor substitute for MIG or TIG welding. Not only is it difficult to control the heat input, but any welding process that uses a flux is prone to problems. Besides the difficulty of keeping the flux rods and wires free of atmospheric contamination, the welds often have such high porosity that they fail. Verdict: not recommended!

Not Sure Which Type of Welding Machine to Buy?

If you’re on the fence about which type of welder will work best for you, or have questions about a specific machine, free to email or call us. We can help you choose a welding machine that meets your needs and your budget.

 

Check out the full selection of Welders chosen by the type of welding material at Welders Supply Company.

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